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Traveller reviews

Travel reviews by Mr F & party from Lisbon,

Review Distribution

Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Terrible

Total number of trips

1

Countries visited

2

Lodges stayed in

4

Excursions taken

0

An experience we will keep for life!

Botswana and 1 other country between 12 Jul 2011 and 24 Jul 2011

Trip rating: Excellent
"I was very pleased with the quality of the service of Expert Africa.

Travelling is my passion and even though I normally book everything myself, I feel that I could not have booked this trip in Botswana without Maruska Adye's help. She really was attentive to all my requests and could advise me regarding my time and budget. I also think that even though this was an expensive trip (Botswana is a very expensive country) I got good value for money, which is very important when travelling. I'd like to thank Maruska and Expert Africa for their help and would certainly ask for their help in future visits to Botswana or other countries in Southern Africa.

Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:

It was difficult for me to coordinate flight schedules with the trip and the best rates I was being ofered with Expert Africa. I know that this would be very difficult but it would be easier if you could also help us with international flights.

All in all, the service was excellent! Congratulations!"

Arranged By Maruska Adye-Rowe


Avani Victoria Falls

Avani Victoria Falls

"Zambezi Sun review"

3 nights Arrived 12 Jul 2011
"Nice Hotel. Even if it was more expensive than other options, it is a privilege to stay so close to the falls.

Because we were staying there for 3 nights, it was so easy for us to go out and just walk to the falls whenever we wanted. I do think that the location of the hotel played a major role in the way we appreciated such a spectacular site. I would advise every tourist visiting the falls to stay in this hotel because of the convenient location."
Good
Location
Excellent
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Chobe Safari Lodge

Chobe Safari Lodge

"Chobe Safari Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 15 Jul 2011
"Wonderful hotel and beautiful rooms. Unfortunately, they are having problems with mice in the beautiful rustic roof. I got droppings in my face on the second night while in bed and had to change room to a downstairs one (concrete ceiling). They were comprehensive and did the change in the middle of the night. I loved the upper rooms, with that great ceiling, but they should advice everybody to use the mosquito net, or even prepare it to every guest.

I am so glad we booked the afternoon game drive on the day of the arrival. The elephants at Chobe come to drink in the evening. So, for future guests, I would suggest you to include this game drive also.

The location is nice, not inside the national park, but it is much cheaper than to stay inside. The activities are good (game drives and boat trips) but they are scheduled and there is no flexiility in choosing the times of the activities, which sometimes could possibly suit teh guests better (Game drives run from 6 am to 9m and 10am-13pm). The boat trip in the evening is in a big boat that is a bit to big to my taste, taking lts of turists."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good
Image alt

Botswana Mobile Camping Safari

"Wonderful experience on our mobile safari"

5 nights Arrived 17 Jul 2011
"Camping Safari:
Wonderful experience. We had a spectacular team!

Guide: Ike.

Cook: Gift

They are both freelancers but wonderful people and very well prepared. Ike is an excellent driver and really knows how to hear the sounds of the bush and track the animals. He also very persistent and due to his skills we were able to find such “difficult” animals such as caracal, wild cat, leopard, lions and wild dogs (hunting!).

Gift is truly gifted. He was very nice and he could do miracle dishes in the bush. He even prepared us fresh bread in the morning. He was also extremely attentive with us and helped us a lot with the camping activities.

Car: The vehicle was “old looking” but was without any doubt the strongest vehicle around. We had a breakdown at third bridge at night (!!) and we had to stop there for the night. But Okavango expeditions promptly solved everything. In the next morning we had a new vehicle to go on a game drive and at 10 a.m. a mechanic had already fixed our car. They all did an effort to minimize us the inconvenience and the breakdown ended to be a plus in our itinerary because we ended up sleeping one night at third bridge and two more in Xakanaxa (instead of 3 n at Xakanaxa).

The Delta and the floods: As you might know, there have been incredible floods in the Okavango Delta since 2009. Chris mentions this in his book but clearly the book hasn't yet been updated regarding these major changes that are happening in the Delta.

While deciding my trip I would have loved to had a “warning” from you and your team regarding this (even though I understand that it may be difficult to really warn people that do not really know the country). But what is happening is major and remarkable! The floods have been happening for the past 4 years and so areas that were before dried, like Savuti and Selinda, are now filled with water and wildlife.
In Moremi, Third Bridge is now the place to be for wildlife viewing! Xakanaxa lost a lot of its wildlife and the road between the two is almost flooded, making it impossible to drive between the two areas frequently (for instance, while in game driving). Also, the lodge at Mapula is in the middle of the water and so I am glad that we had only two nights there, because virtually there is no game there.
Driving from Khwai to Xakanaxa is now impossible. And so you have to detour to South Gate and onwards to Third bridge, which also something to advice to guests.
I think that maybe if I had a clearer picture of this I would maybe have followed my first ideia: driving from Chobe to Savuti and then to Khwai. There would have never certainly been the decision about two or three nights at Mapula, because 2 nights is really enough to experience the area. Or maybe because of my budget I would do what we did…I think that many times, after visiting a country, you start thinking of what you could have done differently. But all in all I am happy with the trip we designed together. I also think that we ended up being lucky because our guide decided to choose the roads with best game viewing (either in Khwai and going to third bridge) and we were also lucky to sleep in third bridge for one night after the breakdown.
Regardless all this, It is important to know and to outline the differences in the Delta and to understand that the areas that were before excellent to wildlife viewing are now flooded and that areas that used to be a dust bowl are now plentiful. I even would like to suggest Chris to outline this in future editions of the Bradt guide, especially regarding Xakanaxa, Savuti and Selinda."
Excellent
Location
Good
Food
Excellent
Facilities
Good
Service
Excellent
Activities
Excellent
Mapula Lodge

Mapula Lodge

"Mapula Lodge review"

2 nights Arrived 22 Jul 2011
"Wonderful service but the area is now flooded. It was a very nice place to experience the “camps” which make Botswana so famous and to relax after the camping days. The teams were very good but unfortunately there is now much less wildlife because the area is flooded.

Regarding the problems that we had in one of the rooms, I think you now understand what happened. Here is a description so you can really picture what happened. I remind you that this is regarding one of the rooms only. There was an overbooking problem, so two of my friends had to stay in a room which was not at all up to standard. According to Johannes (the manager in house) that room (1B) was built for the pilots that might sleep at Mapula. It was absolutely unfair especially if I compare it with the other two rooms we were staying in: My room was spectacular and the perfect end to my holyday. But theirs was ridiculously small and dark....all in all it was not at all a place where you want to spend any time....(and they didn't)…

Room 1A and 1B together are the size of a normal room. Considering they share the entrance, I can assure you that room 1B is less than half the size of a “normal room”. It had absolutely none of the rustic details I had in mine (no bed cover, no wooden toilet seat, no living area, no chairs, no table, no bed tables…). No ambiance whatsoever. It also had no view (just some cut bushes) because it is not even built on a platform as all the others (it is ground leveled!). The bathroom was extremely small. It had only one sink (normal rooms have two). It had no divisions from the toilet and the rest of the bathroom, no shelves, no table below the sink (just the sink attached to the wall)The nice bathtub I had in my room was uninviting in 1B, because it was next to the toilet. There was no terrace. Only a balcony but with no size to have a chair (!). It had no privacy because it is right next to room 1A (even the shower was seen from room 1A next door, which had a guest in the second night). There was no connection between the shower and the bathroom (you would have to cross the room to reach it). To walk around the room you would have to bend yourself because the mosquito net occupies almost the entire area…

I heard all the descriptions and on the last morning I decided to see the room and I just could not believe it. It was a world away from where I was staying (room 7). And it is even difficult to express the differences in words. It was a completely different kind of room and in fact there is no point in going through all the details of it. It was clean and had a bed. That was it. Not exactly the thing you look for in a “tended camp”

I also regret that when we arrived we heard the manager saying that “there have been a change in the rooms”. Maybe that was not the room that Expert Africa booked to us. Probably somebody got there earlier and asked to change, which I totally understand. I also regret that after arrival my friends asked for another room. They were told that there WAS a room available for the first night but not for the second night, because they were having a customer for the second night. I do not think this is fair for them.

And finally, in the second night, the hotel was full and room 1A also had a guest, ending with all privacy. This guest was travelling in a family of 4 and he also was “scarified” during his stay.

The room issue did had an impact in the way my friends experienced the trip. We were excited with the trip and we were looking only for two nights of relax after the camping. They hadn't had the opportunity to relax at the end and off course the worries about the room took their toll in their experience, especially if you consider those were the last two nights in the country.In the camps, the rooms are very important because that is the place you use for the night and also during the heat of the day (after brunch) and basically that room was (almost) not used.

All in all, we do consider that no guest should ever stay in room 1A or 1B. Maybe that house can be used by a complete family (for instance, 2 adults and two little children) but I am sure that the rate is splited by 4 and not charged by two only.

Regardless everything, Mapula decided to refund my friends in 30%, which showed that they were concerned with them."
Good
Location
Good
Service
Good
Activities
Good
Rooms
Good
Food
Good
Facilities
Good

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